San Gimignano‘s position always determined his history. Firenze took advantage of its short distance and already 200 years earlier than Siena, occupied and considered part of the Florentine Republic. It meant the duty of paying taxes, the opportunity of buying fields and taking advantage with financial loans with strict conditions. But the people of San Gimignano never gave up hope and belief. Their prayers always kept occupied their saint protectors, San Gimignano and Santa Fina. What‘s more, artists from Firenze and Siena were invited to decorate churches, Townhall and private buildings with the magical stories of their lives.
San Gimignano is the town which started very early in the 17th century the maintenance of their architectural heritage. As a result no tower houses could be destroyed but maintained. That‘s the reason why today visitors can still admire a piece of medieval history.
Good to Know
Things to See
“The Manhattan of the Middle Ages”- that‘s how San Gimignano is nicknamed. Not by chance, as its towers, would be real skyscrapers, real symbols of power and wealth. Local families built around 72 tower houses, of which only 14 remained. The medieval atmosphere offers the chance to its visitors to step back in time. Tasting the local, 700-year-old white wine, the Vernaccia di san Gimignano on the terrace of the old Fortress is an experience that last for a lifetime.
Things to Do
A guided tour might include the visit of the highest tower of the town, which is a museum today. Inside you can visit the Medieval Art Gallery, which shows pieces from the 13-14th century. Dante‘s Hall, which gave place to a meeting with the Florentine writer is decorated with the frescoes which talk about the visit of a French king. The fresco decoration in the mayor‘s studio gives us a lesson on how life should be lived and which errors must be avoided. The tower is 37m high, from the top the view is magnificent, highly recommended not to lose the opportunity to take beautiful pictures.
A walk in the narrow streets of the town gives the chance to imagine how the old villagers lived their everyday life.
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